Making Space

MAKING SPACE is a project designed to work as an ‘exchange’ between artist(s) and the community. It is a SPACE that works as a type of meeting point, collaborative project, SPACE for sharing, producing, disseminating what SPACE can be used for and, by MAKING SPACE, can we introduce a SPACE for both artist(s) and communities to work collaboratively together? 

MAKING SPACE is located within Bow Street Mall and, having a project SPACE within a shopping destination, seeks to encourage visitors, as well as highlighting current issues of the high street. MAKING SPACE was created as a demonstration to advocate for how cultural engagement can bridge the gap between unused spaces and art accessibility. 

To activate the SPACE we created a series of TABLE TALK(S) (which is an on-going installation within the SPACE). 


Consisting of a table and chairs, this initiative invites an open dialogue, conversation and meeting point to develop an encounter between the public, artists and thinkers. It is the starting point for any project development. Anyone can come in and activate TABLE TALK by starting a conversation about an idea or question they have about MAKING SPACE and how to get involved. 

MAKING SPACE is supported by Voluntary Arts and has a small team of emerging artists involved within the production of the SPACE. Niamh Seana Meehan is the maker, Brennagh Meehan, Tara Carroll and Leoni Hill are co-makers. Voluntary Arts is encouraging this project to think beyond art audiences and traditional spaces for art, to facilitate creative participation with the aim to strengthen communities and networks. MAKING SPACE could be used as a guideline to help reconstruct an area, thus increasing footfall for the shopping centre or other public SPACES. As artists, we are proud to provide a platform that is designed to ease the artistic barrier for finding SPACE, which will present the creative with more time to endeavour creative pursuits that bring people together. 

MAKING SPACE is currently operating online only due to COVID-19. As we are a relatively new SPACE we were working on production, advertising and engagement before closure. Time management has slightly shifted for us and we have been focusing more on creating opportunities online. Our first online opportunity titled ‘Currently in Stock Online’ was a reference to moving our SPACE online. Curating opportunities using online platforms does expose certain challenges, however -, to our amazement - it presented us with similar challenges we were facing before lockdown. Such as, how do we reach audiences other than art communities? How do we advertise our opportunity? How can we create engagement with local artists and communities? How do we get people to submit ideas for our opportunity? We have been concentrating on creating opportunities that bring people together through online resources such as looking at material that people have access to.

Our upcoming online opportunity involves everyone engaging creatively with a tin, entitled ‘Best Before’. Tinned goods went flying off the shelves with lockdown announcements, and it is a material most people will have access to due to its lifespan and it being cost effective. We want people to examine the notion of time within this isolation period by using the tin as an object to record time. Activities such as ‘Best Before’ are investigating how we are self-isolating using time-based media. This online opportunity is open to anyone, we are welcoming everyone to showcase how they are managing self-isolation through a medium we all have access to. The overall result will be featured on Instagram, we are using the location feature of the app when people submit their example, we aim that this will demonstrate the potential reach of online engagement. 

Alongside these activities there is an on-going residency opportunity. Residences were a particular interest for us to generate participation within communities as it presents an on-going opportunity for creatives to activate MAKING SPACE with various stimulating projects. We have moved the residency programme to Instagram and researching resources online has identified that having an engaging platform online with opportunities as well as a physical SPACE can increase opportunities for those individuals that may struggle to access SPACE. Running MAKING SPACE online has got people talking through art, it is bringing people together in a time of uncertainty. 

After the lockdown regulations ease, we are hoping to return to MAKING SPACE, to restore a sense of community, to examine what our SPACE was used for before and how creatives working in collaboration with communities can showcase what it can become in the future. 


Niamh Seana Meehan, Brennagh Meehan, Tara Carroll and Leoni Hill

Address: Bow Street Mall, Bow St, Lisburn BT28 1AW

Email: [email protected]